You definitely don’t need an excuse to make Prosecco syrup, but, if you did happen to be looking for one, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I imagine you can use an open bottle of slightly flat, leftover Prosecco (it could happen!) instead of a freshly opened bottle. I made the rookie mistake of opening the bottle to make the syrup and then finding myself drinking it flat two days later instead of the other way round. Bad planning, obviously, but still better that it was two days later and not two hours later as I had asked my 13 year old son to open the bottle for me before I took him to school. I only attempt the opening of a bottle of Prosecco in an extreme emergency: the anticipation of the ‘pop’ is just too much stress. I’m hoping he didn’t mention it to his teachers but in my defence he now possesses a life skill that I lack.
Prosecco syrup is very simple to make and can be used for flavouring and sweetening: it would be good drizzled over ice cream, in cocktails and fruit salads as well as with cake. It’s the ideal partner for Valentine’s Day cupcakes, and these cupcakes are the ideal treat for Valentine’s Day. You can use your favourite vanilla or chocolate cupcake recipe, and if you like American-style cupcakes, this Hummingbird Bakery chocolate cupcake recipe is a good one. I tend to use this Hummingbird Bakery butterceam recipe: just leave out the vanilla essence and use a little Prosecco instead of milk or water if you like. Make them for your Valentine, your family or your colleagues and spread the love.
Equal weights of Prosecco and sugar (I used 350g Prosecco, 350g sugar)
Put the sugar and Prosecco into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring, to make sure the sugar dissolves completely.
Allow to boil for around 5-10 minutes. It will reduce as the liquid is driven off. The amount of time needed will depend on how fast you boil the mixture and how syrupy you want it to be. It’s difficult to tell how thick it will be while it’s still hot but if the quantity of liquid has reduced it should be ready. If you find it’s too thin when it’s cooled down you can always boil it up again to reduce it more.
Allow to cool for a few minutes and carefully pour into a hot, sterilised bottle. It’s a good idea to use a funnel to avoid spilling or splashing. Allow to cool.
When the syrup is cool, use a pastry brush to coat the surface of each cupcake with it.
Decorate with your choice of buttercream and sprinkles. I chose plain buttercream for the contrast in colour, and different sprinkles that I thought were perfect for Valentine’s: pink hearts and pastel confetti as well as red and white pearly sprinkles.
Of course no cupcake is really complete without glitter and especially not a Valentine’s cupcake. I added red glitter and finished them off with a final drizzle of Prosecco syrup over the top.
Happy Valentine’s Day!